Photos by: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo
It’s a boy! Our giraffe calf got his first check-up with the zoo’s vet team yesterday and he is healthy and doing well.
|Keepers stand on the scale with the giraffe calf.|
Weighing the calf was an interesting exercise. First, we placed a towel over his head to eliminate distractions and keep him calm during the exam. Then four keepers walked onto the scale with the calf to help him stay in place long enough to get an accurate measurement. Subtract the combined weight of the keepers, and you've got a weight for the calf—144 pounds!
|Measuring the calf's height.|
We broke out the measuring tape and discovered our calf is even taller than we first estimated, measuring in at 6 feet. Mom watched the whole exam and remained calm and comfortable.
Blood tests from the exam show that the calf is nursing normally and that mom Olivia is passing on necessary antibodies and proteins through her milk that will keep him healthy and growing.
|This 6-foot baby is doing well!|
The calf and mother are off view in the barn for now to give them a quiet environment for the bonding and nursing that are critical in these first days. But he’s a very mobile calf and we anticipate he’ll be following mom to the outdoor area of their barn within a few days. Once that happens, viewing will be sporadic since he can choose to go off view in the barn, so we appreciate your patience. It’ll be a few months before the calf is introduced to the African Savanna exhibit.